This doesn't even qualify for the research pipeline since the company doesn't appear to have a specific drug targeted at MS yet, but they look like they're doing something a bit different by concentrating on protein misfolding.
Reata Announces Licensing of Novel Class of Anti-Inflammatory Compounds; Drugs Have Broad Potential Across Multiple Therapeutic Areas
April 17 - PRNewswire - Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the completion of a license agreement with Dartmouth College and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, providing Reata with exclusive worldwide rights to a promising new class of anti-inflammatory compounds known as the tricyclic bis-enones (TBEs). Preclinical development of lead compounds in this class is underway in the laboratories of Reata and its collaborators.
The TBE compounds were developed by Michael Sporn, the Oscar M. Cohn '34 Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, in collaboration with Gordon Gribble, Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry, and Tadashi Honda, Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry and Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry. These compounds have shown potent anti-inflammatory activity in early preclinical studies. They are potent activators of the transcription factor Nrf2, which regulates the Phase 2 antioxidant response. They have been shown to increase the expression levels of major cytoprotective and antioxidant proteins, including inducible heme oxygenase (HO-1).
Activation of Nrf2 and induction of HO-1 are widely regarded as promising therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of inflammation-related medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Thus, the TBE compounds have promising potential across multiple therapeutic areas.
Reata Discovery Programs
Reata is feeding its pipeline of small molecule therapeutic candidates with a breakthrough drug discovery platform based on the relationship between protein folding and disease.
Protein misfolding is rapidly gaining recognition as a critical pathogenic process in many intractable diseases, but drug discovery efforts based on this insight have been hampered by a lack of suitable assay systems. Reata founding scientists have developed a proprietary set of assays for studying protein misfolding, aggregation, and related processes that overcome the limitations of standard methods. Reata is applying this technology as the foundation of its drug discovery programs. The biological insight of Reata's scientific founders provides the company with powerful capabilities for characterizing these highly complex disease processes and discovering useful new therapies.
Reata has already applied its assay technology to identify small molecule chaperones that prevent or reverse misfolding of p53, an important regulatory protein that is mutated in many human cancers, and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a protein linked with development of the devastating neurological condition Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Lead molecules from both of these programs are expected to begin in vivo testing by mid-2006.
In addition, Reata is applying this technology to discover compounds that correct the folding status of the key proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Products discovered through this technology could be capable of altering the course of disease, providing significant advantages over current symptomatic treatments. Furthermore, this technology base is sufficiently flexible that applications may ultimately be found in a variety of other diseases including cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and ophthalmological diseases.